Tag Archive | ideas

How Is Your Diet?

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A friend of mine was sharing that he is on a negativity fast.  This entails checking himself every time he starts to think in a way that brings him down.

One secret to his fast is taking care to avoid news and conversations that feed his mind with sorrow, fear, anger, gossip or distress.

This raises a very important question for each of us:  What are you eating these days?  You could apply this to your physical diet, but I’m after your soulful one.  The music, stories, movies, news and conversations that we take in have a direct impact on how we think and feel.  All of this in turn affects our physical well being.

I do find that an occasional “fast” is very good for our souls.  That might mean skipping a rather dark movie or show, choosing some gentle music or avoiding newscasts for a couple of days.  It also means finding a quiet moment each day to pray or meditate.  It’s amazing how a little time to reflect and ponder wil detox us!

Then there are the positive things that build us up:  Time with a good friend who encourages us; conversations that spark new ideas; sermons, books and music that inspire.

One of my sisters finds that art refreshes her; another likes books.  I like playing and listening to music.  A neighbor and I both agree that our gardens are the best “prayer closets.”
What is your preference?
Walking
music
cooking
books
movies
sewing
scrapbooking
gardening
sports
writing
other?  (You get the idea, yeah?)

One thing I have learned:  Choosing your soulful diet takes as much determination and clarity as choosing your physical diet does.  It is at least as important:  Wellness is built from the inside out.

Bien provecho….bon appetit…enjoy!

DO A NEW THING

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The holidays are coming; in fact, they’re just about upon us.

For so many, this is anything but good news:

Memories of pain, sorrow and dread fill our minds, from the parent who was too drunk to take part in festivities to the one who acted in rage and violence…or violation; presents that never appeared under the Christmas tree because…

Disappointment, pain, grief and  anger color every attempt at celebration.

I have a challenge for you:  Set fresh expectations and do something completely new this year:  Something that brings out the best in your life.  If doing the traditional family thing feels more like a charade than authenticity, go in a different direction, such as helping at a shelter, singing in a choir, planning an outing…

Perhaps you will choose to have family gather.  Do that differently as well.  Instead of being the one to cook the whole meal, have everyone bring a favorite hors d’oeuvre or part of the meal.

Most important, ponder the importance and meaning of a holiday for yourself; then make your celebration fit.  There is absolutely nothing, written, spoken or implied, that says you have to do what your parents did.

Thanksgiving is first:  What are you grateful for?  How might you celebrate that?
Then comes Chanukah – the feast of lights.  How have you been sustained in hard times?  How would your gratitude and story be expressed most clearly?
Christmas, the celebration of Jesus’ birth is all about new beginnings:  God’s Son arrived in a dark, hurting world.  How has he come into your life?  What new approach would demonstrate your new ways best?

Then there is New Year’s Day.  For many. that means drinking and partying the night before; for  others, it’s football; still others take time to reflect on the year that has just ended and make resolutions.  I myself don’t put a whole lot of importance on this day.  If I mark it at all, it is as The Feast of the Holy Name – very liturgical, I know.  Personally, I like Epiphany, which is January 6.  IT is the celebration of Jesus as the light to the whole world – that means ussins!

I still explore and try new things during the holiday season.  The most important reason is, I’m still healing, growing and changing.  Things that might have worked a few years ago simply don’t fit now.  I find that experimentation and discovery fit me best.